Career Technical Education (CTE) Programs in Nebraska Bring Engagement and Excitement to Students' Experience

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It's one thing to learn math or science. It's another to see how it applies to the real world. Career Education in Nebraska schools is getting students excited about learning, because Career Education helps them see just how their education applies to them—their lives, their college aspirations, their careers, and their communities.

Last year, nearly 89,000 Nebraska high school students and more than 52,000 Nebraska college students were enrolled in career and technical education courses. Here's a quick snapshot of Career Education across Nebraska. To discover more about Career Education in your area, visit with your local school system:

Jackson Omaha North

Students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program at Omaha North team up to design and engineer a vehicle.

In Norfolk, students in the health career academy are taking a series of three courses—two of which are available for college credit—as they learn whether a career in healthcare might be for them.

At Omaha North, students in the Engineering Development and Design class are designing a sustainable cooking system that is giving people in Madagascar an alternative to cutting down trees to prepare their food. The project is conducted in conjunction with the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership at Henry Doorly Zoo.

In Kimball, the school received a grant to erect a 45’ Wind Turbine that will provide energy to their greenhouse and welding facility. Agriculture students are studying wind energy and other forms of alternative energy to spark some interest in students to pursue careers in this industry.

Jackson Cargill

A student from Blair Public Schools works side by side with an engineer at the Cargill corn processing plant.

In Kearney, students in the FCCLA career student organization are working with the Kearney Public Schools Foundation and the Kearney Literacy Council to improve literacy among young children.

In Blair, some students are spending several hours a week in a paid cooperative program at the local Cargill corn processing plant, working side-by-side with Cargill employees in engineering and business areas.

Students in Chadron High School's construction program study current trends in architecture and efficiency of building design.

At the Career Center at Omaha Public Schools, students from across the Omaha community are spending several hours each day in technical lab settings similar to real-world environments. They take their core academic courses at their "home" high school, while their education at the Career Center helps them better understand how math, science, English and social studies apply to their career choice.

In Aurora, students in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) career student organization are working with local businesses on community service projects—developing skills in planning, budgeting, teamwork and presentation.

In Maxwell, FCCLA eighth-grade members conducted a "Pumped Up" school assembly to call attention to the importance of a good education and taking grades seriously.

At Omaha Burke, students in the Future Educators Association work directly the Rock Stars in the Special Education program, gaining valuable experience that will help them discover more about themselves and their interest in an education career.

At West Point High School, students are using Nebraska Career Connections, a free online career exploration and assessment resource, to discover their talents, interests and work values—and get on an educational pathway that prepares them for success in college and career. is available to all Nebraska students.

In Lincoln, students in the Lincoln Public Schools’ Entrepreneurship Focus program are integrating math, social studies and English courses while exploring entrepreneurship as a career choice, building business plans and making presentations to business executives to assess the feasibility of their ideas.

FFA members in David City learn about entrepreneurship and business management by conducting a farmers market for produce students grow.

Members of Superior FFA chapter conducted well water testing for nitrates as a part of the Nuckolls County Wellness Fair.

Students in North Platte High School's Transportation program use state-of-the-art CDX Computer Program for on-line training for automotive maintenance repair.

Malone Classroom

A student at the Omaha Northwest magnet school studies the forensic evidence in a block of fractured glass as part of her course work in the school's Law, Government and International Diplomacy program.

At Omaha Northwest, students from across the metro area will soon be conducting mock trials and United Nations diplomacy sessions in lifelike environments such as a courtroom in that school's magnet program in Law, Government and International Diplomacy.

In Seward, some 50 students are involved in the Skills USA career student organization, getting prepared to compete on a state level in their chosen area—from video production to engineering, from culinary arts to computer animation.

At Lincoln North Star, students are exploring engineering and construction trade skills in the Industrial Technology Department.

The Centennial (Utica) FFA Chapter has conducted soybean experiments using plant growth regulators along with testing soil for moisture and soybean nematodes due to our selection to receive a NIFA Grant. As spring arrives the students will map fields for moisture, fertility and nematode tests using GPS. Results are recorded and reported to the public. The NIFA funds were used to purchase a laptop computer, a GPS kit, field microscope, soil test kit and a digital scale along with training for students.

Agriculture and Math students at Arapahoe High School partnered to study mathematic applications of GPS and other agricultural technologies.

In Plant Science classes at Sumner-Eddyville-Miller (S-E-M), students learn about products made from plants—and they actually make lip balm products from soybean oil, wax, and flavored oils.

This is the face of Career Education in Nebraska—an educational environment that excites and engages students and prepares them for success in career and college.